In this series I have tried to explore the mystique of the bull – their strength, energy and movement. But I also discovered their vulnerable side – the striving of the young bull bearing the expectation that is upon him. These are not raging bulls, some are young bulls striving and dreaming of what they might be. They have a strong role in Irish folklore, and in the everyday life in rural Ireland, so I have borrowed traditional names for them.
Making these bulls was a very pleasurable process. I built them solid and later partially hollowed them – just enough so moisture and gasses could escape. As a result they are heavy and solid pieces, appropriate to their subject.
Below is Tarbh Óg, the young bull, striving to reach his full height. Stoneware ceramic, 33x38cm. Tarbh Óg sold through Gormley’s Fine Art and has found a home with a collector in Portugal.
‘Fly Like a Butterfly’ was my first bull. In the shape I am exploring the lines and movement of the young bull as he imagines himself fighting like a champ. He was sold at the Ceramics Ireland ‘Clay Works’ exhibition at Dublin Castle, 2019, and returned to Rotterdam with a Dutch collector visiting Ireland.